John E. Pippen Jr., MD
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Pippen Jr. J.; The Coding Audit. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:755. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-9-199811010-00039
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(9):755.
TO THE EDITOR:
Dr. Sumkin  eloquently expressed the physician's frustration with the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and its bureaucratic arrogance. Like Dr. Sumkin, I am angered with upcoding and downcoding, audits, and the big waste of time that accompanies the steps involved with making sure that the chart fits the charge. Also, like Dr. Sumkin, my anger dissipates a bit when a patient recognizes my efforts.
More often these days, my anger with HCFA policies, health maintenance organizations, and slow tort reform is not mollified by rewarding patient encounters. I received some good parenting advice recently when a friend suggested that I “pick my battles” when dealing with my child. The same is probably true when dealing with all of the many pressures on clinicians. I am concerned that we are not wisely picking battles and that a more militant approach by our physician leaders in dealing with HCFA, insurance companies, and lawyers is in order.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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